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Rights groups slam government's abuse record

Attacks on minorities have created a 'state of terrorism'

Rights groups slam government's abuse record
Rights activists say the government has made no progress on human rights in its past four years reporter, Dhaka

November 16, 2012

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The government led by the Awami League has made no progress on improving human rights in the country during its past four years in office, Human Rights Forum (HRF) said yesterday. The concerns were expressed at a press briefing in Dhaka during which the HRF, an alliance of 19 rights and development organizations, unveiled a report on human rights between 2009 and 2012. The report was submitted to the UN Human Rights Council last month and will be taken up at its Universal Periodic Review meeting in Geneva next May. HRF President Sultana Kamal said that 462 people were killed in armed incidents with law enforcers and 156 people were forcibly disappeared during the last four years, which she characterized as a “state of terrorism.” “We are seriously worried over attacks on worship places of religious minorities who are still panicked and feeling insecure,” Kamal said. She observed that the country has made progress in establishing socio-economic rights for people but that the human rights situation was worsening. “There was no prosecution or justice for 270 Bangladeshis killed at the border by Indian border forces and nationals. Nor was there justice for thousands of slum dwellers evicted on short notice in Dhaka.” Kazi Rezaul Haque of the state-sponsored National Human Rights Commission said some progress had been made in the country, though more needed to be done. “During this period much progress has been made in food security, education and health," he said. "Minority Hindus are getting back their lands as a controversial law has been repealed. However, we are working hard to better address issues like attacks on minorities, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.” Related reports Govt rejects HRW report on border guards No justice after police killings: Amnesty
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